Eat Bread and Salt and Speak the Truth: Russian Stories and Essays
Site: Mellon Room, Northeast Harbor Library, 1 Joy Road, Northeast Harbor.
Russians know their own country, its ideas and moral compass, its angels and its demons, its struggles and tribulations, through Russian writers. We will read stories and essays from the brilliant 19th and 20th century Russian tradition, by Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Babel, Berdyaev, Shalamov, and Solzhenitsyn, and flavor with poems by Pushkin, Blok, Mayakovsky, Pasternak, and Akhmatova. We will meet to provide some cultural background and historical context and, mostly, to discuss the reading. This will be a real discussion class: do the reading and share your ideas.
About the instructor
Seth studied Russian History and Literature at Harvard, where his tutor set him to work translating Russian poetry and trying to understand Dostoevsky. Seth later defected to study international relations at Yale. Seth has traveled to the Soviet Union with the Yale Russian Chorus, worked on Soviet foreign policy at the Harvard Russian Research Center, visited most of the former Soviet countries, and lived and taught in Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg as the Soviet Union came apart. Because they are the best way to understand Russia and Russians, he has used many of the texts for this class in courses at several universities over fifty years, including at the University of Maine, where he now teaches international affairs.